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From Surfing To Skiing, Rhode Island Offers Year-Round Fun

When the surf’s up the beaches of Rhode Island fill with wave seekers. Like other spots in New England, surfing in Rhode Island offers a variety of waves, weather, and experiences, and you can find award-winning surf shops, surfing lessons, and rideable waves.

Surfing is just one of the surprising sports you can pursue in the Ocean State. Like your fun on snow? Skiers have been heading to Yawgoo Valley since 1965, and the resort offers 14 runs, 310 vertical feet, two chairlifts and a rope tow, and snowmaking to augment the more than three feet of natural snow which falls each winter. Come summer, fans come back to Yawgoo, this time for the waterpark and a bucolic setting for parties and events.

Rhode Island’s rolling countryside and mild weather make for great biking. The state has more than 100 miles of bike paths winding along the coast, through historic villages, and past refuges and parks. Hop on the East Bay Bike Path, a 14-mile trail from Providence to Bristol, or meander for an afternoon on the Blackstone River Bikeway, which follows the river and its canal.

The state’s beautiful beaches are a powerful draw for visitors who come for summer fun and winter solitude. Spread out a towel on Union Street Beach in Bristol or dive into the bracing water after a job along Teddy’s Beach in Portsmouth. Families love Blue Shutters Town Beach in Charlestown and Dunes Park Beach in Westerly. And don’t skip some of the state’s most popular beaches, which are found in Newport, Block Island, and Narragansett.

Anglers will find plenty of water to test, and charters and guided fishing tours operate from almost every waterfront town, including Newport, Block Island, Narragansett, Westerly, Wakefield, Coventry, and East Matunuck. Prefer to cast your own line? From stripers to cod to sharks, Rhode Island offers diverse waters and plenty of sport. If all you want to do is cruise, plenty of charters and boat rentals are available – take your pick from standup paddleboards to five-star yachts. As the home of the America’s Cup, it should come as no surprise that Rhode Island is an exceptional place to learn to sail, and lessons cover everything from afternoon introductions to week-long intensive camps. You can also rent kayaks and parasail on Block Island, while Newport has kite surfing. Rowing is huge in Rhode Island, and you’ll find fast, calm waters in Narragansett, East Bay, and Providence.

Tennis players will discover community courts spread across the state, as well as more exclusive clubs, and you won’t want to miss the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport. Golfers, meanwhile, will find dozens of courses, from the Ironwoods Golf Practice Center in North Smithfield to top-ranked greens such as Newport Country Club, Wannamoisett Country Club, and Shelter Harbor Golf Course.

Gamblers are not left out of the fun – Lincoln is home to the Twin River Casino while Newport sports the Newport Grand Casino. Rock climbers are kept busy at indoor gyms in Lincoln and South Kingston, while the state’s well-developed bouldering scene is centered around Lincoln Woods State Park, which has hundreds of established lines on boulders and ledges and a climbing heritage spanning nearly 50 years.

Grab your hiking boots and spend an afternoon on one of the state’s diverse trails. The 4.2-mile Mount Tom Trail ascends cliffs and offers a view of the Arcadia Management Area, while the Arcadia Trail winds through the state’s largest protected area. You can hike around Breakheart Pond, take a dramatic cliff walk near Newport, or enjoy nature trails in Ninigret Park. Take advantage of the state’s breathtaking color show in the fall by hiking around serene Tilinghast Pond, along the coast at Sachuest Point, or among the war memorials in Wolf Hill Forest Preserve. Runners will delight in the fresh sea breezes and well-manicured paths as they head along the Arkwright Riverwalk, the 12-mile Blackstone River Greenway, and the Phenix-Harris Riverwalk. The state has a busy calendar full of marathons, half-marathons, and 5Ks, including the Red Island Marathon and Providence Rhode Races.

If you’d rather just watch, Rhode Island has you covered. The Pawtucket Red Sox play baseball each summer, while the Providence Bruins rule the ice. You can watch the Rhode Island Reds FC, the state’s semi-pro soccer team, as well as the Rhode Island Rebellion, who play in the USA Rugby League, and the Providence Sky Chiefs, who are in the Premier Basketball League.